Month: April 2011

Holy Thursday 2011

The first Diocesan service since the re-opening of the Cathedral took place on Holy Thursday, with the celebration of the Chrism Mass. The Cathedral was packed, with people standing at the back and around the sides, and some of the congregation getting a closer acquaintance with the choir in the choir loft than they might have wished. Before the start of the Mass, as the clergy of the Archdiocese gathered in the Diocesan Offices, the St. Mungo Singers sang choral motets, including Jesu Rex Admirabilis, O Bone Jesu, Sacris Solemniis, and Veni Sancte Spiritus, to help create a prayerful atmosphere. As the procession of clergy began, the choir then led the congregation in the joyful singing of “Christ be our Light”. The gentle penitential Litany of Praise which followed contrasted effectively with this and with the Dunkeld Gloria. In the Litany of the Word, Gerry Fitzpatrick’s setting of Psalm 88 was sung by Catriona Glen. Archbishop Conti began his homily by referring to the Pope’s words to priests at Bellahouston, and to the example of St. John Ogilvie who had been executed for saying the Mass and bringing the sacraments to his people. The decree of Vatican II on the priesthood had stressed the need for priests, but it had also reminded us that all the faithful have a share in the priesthood by their baptism. While priests have...

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Solemn Mass of Dedication for Cathedral Altar

On the following day a Solemn Mass was celebrated to dedicate the new altar and to mark the 6th Anniversary of the election of Pope Benedict XVI. Archbishop Conti was joined by the Bishops of Scotland and the newly appointed Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, as well as priests and parish representatives from across the Diocese. Members of the St. Mungo Singers and the Cathedral Choir, plus the instrumentalists from the previous evening provided musical support for the Mass. The Mass began with the singing of the Canticle from Ezechiel “Hear me, my people” as the clergy entered the Cathedral. The Rite of Sprinkling followed, with Archbishop Conti blessing church and congregation from the beautiful new font at the centre back of the Cathedral, while the choirs led the congregation in the singing of Bob Hurd’s setting of Ps. 42 “As the deer longs for running streams”. In the Liturgy of the Word, the psalm (Noel Donnelly’s setting of psalm 129) was sung by a cantor of the Cathedral choir. The Liturgy of Dedication of the Altar then took place. Cantors led the congregation in singing the Litany of Saints before Archbishop Conti said the prayer of dedication and anointed the altar with chrism as Psalm 121 (May the House of the Lord be at Peace) was sung. A fire was then lit on the altar and from this...

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Vespers for Re-opening of St. Andrew’s Cathedral

St. Andrew’s Cathedral was re-opened and its new altar dedicated on 10 April 2011. On the evening before, an ecumenical service of Vespers to celebrate the completion of the restoration work was held , attended by an invited congregation which included church leaders, national and local politicians (including the First Minister Alex Salmond), consular representatives, members of civil and educational organisations, and representatives of parishes throughout the Diocese. As the guests gathered, a trio of instrumentalists played on violin (Clare O’Neill), clarsach (Carissa Bovill) and whistle (John Allen) a selection of Celtic melodies. The first section of the service was devoted to an outline of the history of the cathedral, and a formal acknowledgement of the contributions made by so many to its restoration. Mgr. Chris McElroy welcomed the congregation to the Cathedral before the opening hymn “All people that on earth do dwell” was sung, led by members of the St. Mungo Singers and the Cathedral choir. Ronnie Convery, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese then began the history of the Cathedral. Referring to the appropriateness of the opening hymn, he outlined the revival of the Catholic church in Scotland and the work of Fr. Scott (later Bishop Scott) who had been responsible for the building of the Cathedral (or St. Andrew’s Chapel as it was at its inception) in 1814 to accommodate the increasing numbers of Catholics...

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A Litany of Saints for the Blessing of the Baptismal Font at the Easter Vigil

The Blessing of the Baptismal Font A Litany of Saints Lord, have mercy, have mercy. Lord, have mercy, have mercy. Christ, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy, have mercy. Lord, have mercy, have mercy. Holy Mary, Mother of God: pray, pray for us. St Michael, angels of God . . . . pray, pray for us. . . . . . . . . . . . Lord, be merciful: Lord, save your people. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . By your death and rising to new life: Lord, save your people. By your gift of the Holy Spirit: Lord, save your people. Be merciful to us sinners: Lord, hear our prayer. By your grace bless this font where your children will be reborn: Lord, hear our prayer. Jesus, Son of the living God, Lord, hear our prayer. Christ, hear us: Christ hear us. Lord Jesus, hear our prayer. Lord Jesus, hear our prayer.  ...

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Lenten Vespers Workshop

The Music Committee of the Archdiocese held a well attended workshop for Lenten Vespers at St. Mary’s, Calton on 31 March. The evening began with a sung Vespers, presided over by Mgr. Peter Smith, to give those present who might not have experienced this form of liturgy a taste of it before the teaching and discussions. The opening hymn, appropriately for Lent, was the Bach “O Sacred Head”, followed by Ps. 26 and Ps. 88, and the Canticle from the Apocalypse. The short scripture reading was from the Letter of St. James, the Responsory “Guard me, Lord, as the apple of your eye” and the Magnificat was the “Amazing Grace” setting with the Lenten Antiphon “Unless the grain falls down and dies”. Continuing the Lenten theme, the response to the Intercessions was “Accepting death upon the cross” and the final hymn was “The Seven Last Words” by the late James Quinn. The service leaflet also gave participants suggestions for alternative psalms and hymns for use during Lent. After the service. Fr. Gerry Fitzpatrick explained some of the history of Vespers and how it had come to be displaced during the 19th Century by other forms of popular devotions. He discussed with participants why this might have happened and how the celebration of Vespers could be recovered and made more accessible – when and how could it be introduced into...

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